Mechelen has a Smaakmarkt (food market), but you might have trouble tracking it down. It occupies an abandoned 19th-century meat market in a back street where the city’s butchers used to work.
It’s worth taking a look inside, if only to admire the vast interior with 13 food stands on the ground floor and co-working spaces on the upper levels.
The food stands are run by local chefs who offer tapas, Vietnamese pho, fried fish and croquettes. You can also drop in for a barista coffee or a craft beer.
The food hall hosts regular events including a book market and record fair.
Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.